Parker: Our community is one of action

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State Rep. Tan Parker

Representing House District 63 is the highest honor of my professional life. This position is not just about policy, constituent services, and advancing legislation for the betterment of our state, it is about seeing the heart of our communities from the front lines including the daily selfless acts of others. The perspective I have been privileged to witness while serving as your state representative has revealed just how amazing Denton County is and how each success is built upon the ideas, hopes, and dreams of people who are relentless in making a difference.

One specific example that has truly touched my wife, Beth, and me is the community rallying behind Emily Klamkin.  Emily is a young resident of Flower Mound who has lived with mitochondrial disease resulting in a manifestation of intestinal pseudo obstruction, chronic pancreatitis, seizures and a life of pain.  Her hope hinges upon a multi-organ transplant that will provide her with the ability to live and realize a life free of debilitating pain and suffering.  The cost of this surgery is approximately $2 million of which her family will need to provide roughly $300,000.

When Emily’s story surfaced and spread throughout the area, strangers and friends came together and took action.  This led to the efforts of Cloud 9 Charities and Kim Cloud to be a part of the effort by helping with a benefit on Sunday, September 2nd at Circle R Ranch.  With the leadership of Flower Mound’s former mayor Tom Hayden and a long list of extraordinary volunteers, the spectacular restaurants of Lakeside along with entertainment by the famous Master of the Mind David Magee and an auction supported by the generous donations of many businesses will rally for Emily.  Beth and I are blessed to join this community effort to bring hope for Emily and invite you to be a part of it. Please go to www.communityforemily.org to learn more.

Serving others is simply a way of life for this area. This is greatly exemplified through the many service organizations that consist of people who are constantly engaged in making a meaningful difference every day. I encourage you to look for one in your neighborhood and get involved.

On September 15th, one such organization, the Cross Timbers Rotary Club, will launch our area’s first ever duck derby and family-friendly festival that will highlight many of our wonderful non-profits and serve as a means to help them meet the vital needs of others.  This group truly embraces the meaning of “service above self” and will provide a great opportunity for all of us to help several of the charities that are truly the bedrock of our communities.  My family and I plan to start the day with the Run the River 5K followed by a family-friendly walk around the newly-developed river area, and of course the $2,500 grand prize duck derby.  Adopt-A-Duck, Change-A-Life is certainly a fitting motto.  Just go to www.rhythmsattheriverwalk.com to learn more.

Finally, for the past three years, I have had the blessing of serving as an Honorary Chair for the Special Olympics Texas Steak & Stetson gala.  This wonderful event, being held on Saturday, September 22nd at Circle R Ranch, specifically helps our area special needs community be empowered through various athletic opportunities for free.  I cannot imagine the feeling of watching sporting activities from the sidelines without the hope of being included. Yet because of Special Olympics, no one has to worry that a physical or mental challenge will prevent them from participating.  I am proud to be a part of this year’s mission with my Texas House colleague Representative Ron Simmons, Highland Village Police Chief Doug Reim (lead organizer), Police Chiefs Andy Kancel (Flower Mound) and Russ Kerbow (Lewisville) along with an incredible group of volunteers who are creating a fun and festive evening of steaks, live music, auctions, and entertainment.  Come be a part of it by going to www.sotx.org.

These are just three events happening in our area but there are certainly many more!  I wish I could name them all, but perhaps knowing that is not possible is a sign our community is filled with action takers and compassion.  I am proud to call Denton County home and know this is truly a special place!

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I welcome your feedback. If you would like to share a thought, please feel free to contact me at 512.463.0688 or by email at [email protected].

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